Man’s Best Travel Buddy: How to Prepare Your Dog for a Long Trip

Planning a vacation with your canine companion? Here’s everything you need to know about how to prep your four-legged friend for a long trip.

You’ve got your entire weekend planned out. It will be a quiet road trip with you and your best friend. We’re talking about your dog.

Taking your dog on a long trip with you can be fun and less expensive than boarding them somewhere while you’re gone. The only thing is each dog reacts to vacations differently. That’s why it’s best to plan for everything that may come up.

They may get car sick or not be allowed on your plane if you’re traveling by air. You’ve also got to plan food stops and give your dog something to do. It’s a lot of work.

To help you with the planning process, read this quick guide on how to have a smooth trip with your doggo.

  1. Be an Expert Packer 

Depending on how long you will be gone, you will be most likely bringing a lot of stuff with you. This being said, try to plan smart. The last thing you want to do is give your dog no space to lie down and stretch.

They will have to eat at some point so bring their food and water bowls with you. They’ll need their leash and any medications. Their ID tags are a must in case they wander off.

You should bring along some of their favorite toys. Having something familiar can keep a dog calm if it becomes restless. You must stop at some point to let them use the restroom so pack a few poop bags too.

  1. Crates are Your Friend 

If you want your dog to be safe, then you should consider buying a crate. Make sure that whichever one you get is large enough for your dog to comfortably lay down in. Keep in mind that not every dog does well in a crate.

If you’re flying a crate will be required. If your dog is one to get uncomfortable or nervous in one, it may be best for you to leave them at home rather then take them on the plane with you.

If you’re on the road and your dog doesn’t like the crate then there are other ways to secure them. You can purchase a strap in. It’s a harness that will keep them secure and out of your lap.

A strap in will stop you from trying to drive and keep up with what your dog is doing at the same time. Being distracted like that could turn these fun ideas you have for the weekend into tragedy.

  1. Do Your Research 

Before you head out, do your research. Look around for pet-friendly hotels and restaurants in the area where you’re going.

If you will be traveling by plane, you must call around to different airlines to find out if they can accommodate your dog. When you find one that will allow your dog to travel with you, go ahead ask them what vaccinations they need too.

  1. See Their Vet 

Always schedule a vet visit before you take your dog on a long trip with you. You can get refills of their prescriptions, they can check your dog over to make sure they are healthy enough for travel, and they can microchip them if your dog isn’t already microchipped.

Getting them microchipped may take away some funding you have for your trip but it’s worth it. If your dog gets loose, it will make it easier for it to find it’s way back to you.

  1. Plan Stops 

You wouldn’t go several hours without a proper meal and your dog shouldn’t either. Give your dog a light meal before you head out. If you give them too much they may get sick. After that, plan to stop every three to four hours to feed them again.

You should also plan for restroom stops. You wouldn’t force yourself to deal with an uncomfortably full bladder so you shouldn’t ask your best friend to.

If you’re flying, you can’t make stops so make sure they have emptied their bladders and eaten a light meal before getting on the plane.

  1. Give Them Something to Do 

Like a small child, you don’t want to take your dog on a trip with you without giving them something to do. Bring their favorite chew toy and don’t be afraid to talk to them. Some dogs find joy in that.

If you’re taking them on a road trip and not a plane ride, stop every little while so they can stretch their legs. That will keep them from getting too restless.

  1. They May Get Nauseous

If your dog gags and drooling don’t be alarmed. They are only getting car sick. It’s not an unordinary phenomenon with dogs.

That’s another reason you want to talk to their vet before you go on a trip. The vet will be able to either give you medicine for car sickness or give you a few good over-the-counter options.

  1. Check Airline Policies and Book in Advance 

Not every airline will allow your pet to fly so you must call before you buy your tickets. Some airlines may allow you to bring your pet but have strict weight and breed limits.

You should also book well in advance. Pet spots book up fast on planes. If you’re not proactive, you may not be able to secure your dog’s place.

Planning a Long Trip With Your Favorite Fur Buddy 

There is nothing better than going on a long trip with your dog. They make for some of the best travel companions. You may not be able to take them with you if you don’t plan in advance though.

Keep these tips into consideration when you’re going into the planning process so your trip goes as smooth as possible.

Did these tips help you with your weekend getaway with your dog? Check out our blog daily for even more great pet advice.

Do not forget to buy a bed dog that is great for outdoor use.